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Be receptive to what your body is telling you and enjoy a longer healthier life.
As a member of the health and medical industries for 15+ years, I value the feedback that I receive from clients. It helps me to grow as a professional and a person; to know which practices to continue and where I should seek additional training.
Going back 20+ years ago I remember my husband commenting that I snored when drunk. Ha, thank goodness all I did was snore when drunk. Over more recent years there had been giggles of 'snoring' when I've nodded off in relaxation sessions, and being quite loud when away on holidays with friends, but there were many more nights when there were no stories or snoring. Even with the humiliation of being told I was snoring very loudly during an important conference, I wondered why people were saying these things. I wasn't asleep and I wasn't snoring.
But it kept eating away inside until I finally chose to have a test and it get sorted once and for all.
I chose Sleep Clinic Services because of the convenience. I don't live in a large city, the idea of sleeping in a strange bed was not an option, and I wanted to ensure that this test was for my knowledge- not something I'd have to share with others. SCS's home service provided this for me. My Therapist [Jo Moore] was an absolute angel. She spoke openly with me about the process, and indicators and how the whole idea of having a sleep disorder can feel so totally foreign. It was comforting to know that she was speaking from experience, her empathy showed through in everything she said. I was shocked after completing the first step when it showed a 'possible' predisposition. From there everything moved so quickly.
I loved the process of being emailed when everything left Head Office, I knew when to expect paperwork and parcels. Opening the Sleep Study Kit was exciting until I saw the copious amount of wires and plugs. That night I watched the video and step by step I joined the dots until I was wired up. My Therapist [Jo] messaged me and she double checked with me that everything set. She also allayed my odd fears of waking tangled up in the machine. Once I had stopped and took a breath, the equipment was really quite easy to fit, colour coded, labelled, diagrams.
From return of the Sleep Study Kit to obtaining results was, maybe a week; amazing considering there was postage involved and development of data and reports. That day an appointment had been made for a phone consult and I received an email a few minutes before the time. My Therapist [Jo Moore] slowly and carefully talked me through the results. It was nothing like I had expected - not only could I snore the roof off a house, but I was experiencing apnoeas that were lasting for over a minute; on a frequent basis. Needless to say- shock set in. My Therapist [Jo] was accepting of my distress and provided me a long email which detailed a summary of the consult and explanations of therapies that were available.
Please note that SCS did not push their products on me. A CPAP was only one of the recommendations and my Therapist [Jo] explained each of the interventions available and how they could be accessed. It was my choice to continue with SCS and purchase one of the APAP machines.
This was the longest wait in the entire process because there was a long weekend in the middle lol. So maybe 2 weeks from decision to arrival of my parcel. Again, great detail - emails containing video clips of how to use the machine and that evening Jo rang and she talked me through preparing the machine, the different masks; and while she was on the phone I turned it on and had my first few moments of assisted breathing.
My first week of use I received a message almost every day just asking if I was ok and did I have any queries. This assisted me in feeling supported, knowing that I wasn't fully alone in this venture. My Therapist [Jo Moore] was there and continues to be just a message away if there is anything I require.
What does having the machine mean for me?
Well considering I never believed that I had a problem sleeping; I mean I could do a full 12 hours at work off only a 6 hour sleep (which supposedly I was only sleeping for half of). I had energy, I would go to the gym, I would function as a human quite successfully. Yet I couldn't deny the results. In fact, my doctor wouldn't allow me to ignore the facts. She was much blunter at explaining how my health and the safety of those around me could be affected due to my body being so exhausted from sleeping.
That first night I put the mask on -I left it on. I had learnt something about myself that had the possibility of limiting my life and there was nothing that I could do except accept the assistance from a machine to keep me alive when I slept. That first night my nose hurt, my eyes got dry, my head felt funny being encased, but I didn't take that mask off. I also never used that mask again. You are provided with 2 trial masks and I was able to determine that very first night that one was not suitable for my skin and face - how lucky was I? Night 2, Eson mask was fitted and away I went.
With My Therapist [Jo Moore's] advise I used my tv to distract me from the mask. Focusing on the mask and the air pressure and and and .... Would definitely put me off my sleep, so I would turn the tv on or play a game and I found very quickly I was falling asleep.
I've had hurdles for sure. Water build up in the mask was a biggie. And it took Jo and I a few nights and wrapping the tubing in tights to get to the right humidity for the weather. There were a few nights that I woke to dry the excess moisture before falling back asleep. And it was so easy. I would send a message early in the morning before work and Jo would have a friendly and helpful response that afternoon when I returned home.
One thing I didn't realise until recently - I haven't woken in the middle of the night to go to the toilet since using my machine. Every night at least once has changed to nothing. Talk about an amazing body that would invent ways to make you breathe and keep you alive.
7 1/2 hours most nights in the first 2 weeks. 7 1/2 hours of sleep which resulted in almost ZERO episodes of sleep disturbance. Ahuh. You got it. I've had 3 consults in the last 6 weeks where Jo has collected the data from the machine and provided feedback to me. I cannot wait to speak to my doctor this week to ensure that she has read the data - from 31/hr to 0.5/hr. These figures I have maintained since my first night. My A/CPAP has almost completely erased my sleep disorder.
Issue now is - instead of sprinting out of bed full of energy (as I'd hoped to be), my body is so thoroughly enjoying the restorative sleep that I'm still sleeping in.
I'm a single woman of 45 years. I've kept this mostly to myself and would have fingers spare on one hand with the number of people who've seen me with my mask on. I've referred to myself as Darth Vadar on social media (though have never elaborated why) and am willing to share with you that Darth Vadar does get lucky. If I can find the determination to seek assistance and treatment for something I refused to acknowledge; and can share this with a new person to my life; then you can too.
Ask for Sleep Clinic Services. Ask for Jo Moore. Be receptive to what your body is telling you and enjoy a longer healthier life.